Monday, September 5, 2016

NFL Picks ATS 2016-7 Recap

In the non-profit, just-for-fun pools organized by present and past Godiva toy boys Archibald and Reginald, I lost taking underdog HOTLANTA +3 over NE CHEATRIOTS in Super Bowl LI.
I was confident going with the Super Bowl underdog. According to Professor Steven Leavitt of Freakonomics fame, the Super Bowl underdog is the best ATS pick of the year. 
After 51 Bowls, Super underdogs are 25-24-2 ATS. Over 1000 Super Bowls we might expect to see underdogs closer to 55% than 50% ATS.
On a straight-up, no-spread basis, the NFC is up XXVI to XXV for the AFC after LI Super Bowls. 
Hail to the Cheatriots of NEW ENGLAND for their Vth Super Bowl triumph in the last XVI years. Coach Bill Belicheat and fellow Donald Trump supporters Tom Brady and Robert Kraft are living the high life. 

The divisional round is the only week of the year when I take all overdogs. Tuesday Morning Quarterback Gregg Easterbrook points out that the top 2 seeds have won 73% of play-off matches straight-up after the bye week going back to 1990. I went 2-2 ATS, but, over 500 years or so, I would expect home teams in a play-off match after a bye week to finish above 50% ATS by a statistically significant margin.
I finished 2-9 ATS in the 2017 play-offs and have finished under 50% ATS in the play-offs for the 7th straight year and 13th of the past 14. Over 16 years of play-off picking, I am averaging a statistically insignificant but discouraging 40% ATS.
This regular season I finished under 50% ATS for the first time since 2007. I ended the regular year at 120-124-12 = 78-81-9 road underdogs, 42-37-3 home underdogs and 0-6 home overdogs.
A simple all-underdog strategy defeated all-overdogs during the regular season for the 20th year out of the past 25, but just barely this year. Overdog favourites won outright 63% of regular season matches this year. ATS point reversals knocked the overdog winning % ATS down by 15 percentage points. The overdog straight-up victory rate was below the long-run norm of about 2/3. A bit less than 1/4 of overdog straight-up wins reversed ATS was also a touch below what we would expect.
I finished for 38th out of 91 players in Archibald's pool, 32nd of 63 in Reginald's and 16th in the pool at the Randy Badger, Archibald's local gastropub for weekend brunching while watching European football. The Randy Badger pool offers point spreads that are usually more favourable to my mostly underdogs strategy.